Posts Tagged With: Yarn

It Ends Now

Well, it sort of ends now. Today is the last day to get your comments in (on the blog, not on Facebook); I’ll be making the draw for 6 soap samples tomorrow.

soapsamples

Test pieces for some of my soaps… don’t they almost look good enough to eat?

It’s a long weekend here in Canada; we celebrate Thanksgiving on Monday. We will not be doing the “turkey thing”; I’d rather have a nice quiet weekend without the hectic busyness of cooking a full turkey dinner. That’s not relaxing at all, thankyouverymuch! I was thinking of putting together a big pan of lasagna, to be honest. Not very Thanksgiving-ish, is it? Certainly decadent, though!

I have every intention of filling the weekend with knitting related stuff. I have a book on the iPod (The Confessor by Daniel Silva) and a couple of projects on the needles; I am ready to relax!

First though, John’s slippers are finished… the knitting and the felting, although I will have to throw them back into the washer to felt a little more. For some reason, one slipper felted more than the other.

Johnslippers

My washer isn’t the best one out there, that’s for sure. I get lint on everything, and I do mean everything! I’m leery of washing anything white because I’ll end up with dark lint streaks on it; I’m afraid of washing anything dark because I end up with light lint streaks all over it. It’s rather frustrating, to be honest. In the case of the slippers, though, at least we can brush the lint off.

Because John’s slippers are finished, I’ve allowed myself to start his sweater. I’ve gone through one ball of yarn so far and that’s just knitting a few rows each evening while watching a show or two on the computer (we don’t have a tv… by choice).

HL1

The stitch pattern is an easy one to memorize and read and, as you can see, knits up fairly quickly. The yarn feels really nice in the hand and makes a cozy fabric. I don’t think he’ll be at all disappointed with this cardigan. I’m already a little jealous.

I also have another small project on the needles. I’ve decided I like having a face cloth on the go; they’re the perfect small project – they knit up fairly quickly, even with fine yarn, and they’re a usable little item. I don’t especially like using them in the kitchen but I do like using them on my face.

whitefacecloth

This time, I’m using Paton’s BumbleBee baby cotton, a 100% cotton, DK weight, that I do believe has been discontinued (yup… just checked; it was discontinued in 2005… and, yes, I’ve had it that long!). It’s a very soft cotton, nice to work with and knits up beautifully. I have about a half dozen or so balls of it so there will be a few of these face cloths in my linen closet before too long, or they’ll be given as gifts, accompanied by a bar or two of handcrafted soap.

Speaking of soap, I don’t think there will be any soap making this weekend; I’m out of coconut oil and I’m waiting for an order of a couple of items to arrive from Voyageur Soap & Candle in Vancouver. I could just run out and pick up some more coconut oil but soaping isn’t high on my priority list this weekend.

Categories: Blogging, Cardigan, Contest, Finished, John's Sweater, Knitting, Making Soap, Slippers, Soap | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Don’t Forget – Soap Giveaway

You have one week left to enter to win a 6 pack soap sampler. Leave a comment and you’re entered!

Last week, I left you with a teaser about an upcoming work in progress – a cardigan for John. When the newest KnitPicks catalog arrived, I showed John one of the pictures of a man’s cardigan that I thought he might like. He wanted to see more so I brought up the KP web site and showed him the rest of the pictures there. He liked it. He liked it a lot. When I asked him if I should purchase the yarn and pattern, he said yes! I didn’t wait!

The yarn was ordered and has already arrived. I have been told, though, that I am not allowed to start the sweater until his slippers are finished. Yeah, they’re still not done.

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The pattern is the Hidden Light Cardigan; to see more pictures, click here. When I showed John the colour choices in the yarn, he pointed to the picture and said, “That one.” Apparently, he really likes that cardigan in that colour. I like it, too, so we’re going with it. I’ve already done a test swatch (just a swatch, that’s all!) and my gauge is right on so I’m good to go… as soon as his slippers are done.

This weekend is a weekend without grandchildren around so I’m getting a few things done. Once I’m finished with this post, I’ll be knitting. Care to guess what I’ll be working on?

Already today, I’ve been out – had my hair cut this morning, wandered around the farmer’s market, did some shopping, picked up a new mold for my soaps, stuff like that. Just before I sat down to write this post, I made a small batch of soap to fill my new mold… and a few more molds.

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I love the Fat Daddio’s silicone molds; the flower molds are so pretty. This one is the daisy; I have my eye on the sunflower, the narcissus, and the rose molds as well but those are a special order. I made a small batch of soap with sunflower oil, superfatted with 1 teaspoon of argan oil and scented with the last of my neroli essential oil. It’s setting now and I can barely wait to see how it comes out. The recipe this time is one of my own devising.

Now, I’m done here for today… I’m off to get comfy and finish those %*$(&^# slippers.

Categories: Blogging, Cardigan, Contest, John's Sweater, Slippers, Soap | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

One Down, Another On The Needles

The Waffle Stitch face/spa cloth is finished! It only took a little over a week to finish one cloth – that actually surprised me; it felt like it took forever! I do have to say, though, that I’m really happy with it. It has a very nice feel to it, not thick but still cushy, with enough texture to help exfoliate and stimulate the skin without being rough. Now, we’ll have to see how it stands up to use. Looking nice is one thing, performance is another.

I’ve also cast on for another face cloth; I figure that if I have the yarn and needles out, I may as well keep going. I think I know a few people who will appreciate these. This time, I using a checkerboard stitch, 5 knit stitches, 5 purl stitches, 6 rows, then alternating the knit and purl stitches. I’m really liking how this one’s working up, too.

faceclothsx2

The soap in the picture, incidentally, is the Java Jumpstart soap, one of my favourites (who am I kidding? They’re all my faves!). This one has the most amazing scent and so far, everyone who smells it, wants it.

And speaking of soap, I did a bit of experimenting last night. I’ve been seeing some amazing pictures and videos of something called a Taiwan Swirl (google it and you’ll see why I’ve been blown away). I used two colours (does uncoloured count as a colour?), natural and ultramarine blue and poured alternating sections of each. Then, with a chopstick, the colours are swirled together to form a pattern. Here’s how it looked after I’d finished the swirling…

Taiwan swirl

I chose not to add any scent to this one because I wanted to see how it turned out. If/when I make another swirled soap, I will definitely add some scent to it. To be honest, it takes almost as much time and thought to decide what scent to use as it does to plan and make the soap. It’s one of the reasons most of my soaps aren’t scented. That, and the fact that I don’t care for perfumed things on or near my face.

This morning, I took the soap from the mold; it’s still too soft to cut but I anticipate that I’ll be able to cut it tomorrow. I am really eager to see how the swirls look inside the soap.

Taiwan swirl2

Normally, I cut my soaps in about nine bars, straight down. In this case, the recommendation is that you first cut about four bars across the mold, then cut each of those bars horizontally. That way, the swirls you see on the top become the sides of the bar. If that sounded confusing, just wait for the pictures.

Back to where we started… knitting. The weather here definitely has autumn overtones. Mornings and evenings have that unmistakable coolness that comes with the changing of the season. Another sign that autumn is on its way is the fact that John’s been whining about not having slippers to wear.

That should be remedied by the end of the weekend. I started his slippers last February; they’re almost done. I think I only need to work one more sole, then put them together and felt them. I’m making a point of getting them done and off my plate.

slippers to finish

Then, I can start on a pair for me!

Categories: Blogging, Contest, Just stuff, Knitting, Making Soap, Slippers, The Weather | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

December

And suddenly, it’s December! We’ve had snow, we’ve had freezing rain. We’ve had cold temperatures (down to about -15ºC); it’s warming up a bit now (at about 3ºC right now). Both John and I have been hit with our first colds of the season; mine kept me home for two days. We’re on the mend now, thankfully.

snow bikes

With winter weather comes the urge for knitting. I’ve really been bitten by the knitting bug this winter, more than I have all year. I suppose the break from knitting was a necessary one. Coming back to it now, I’m finding myself enjoying it more than I have in what feels like a very long time.

This past week, I’ve kept my needles busy. One of Ethan’s slippers is finished… well, the knitting of one slipper is finished. The second is almost half finished. They won’t be completely finished, of course, until the felting process is complete.

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The little piece of purple yarn is there as a marker for joining the cuff to the foot. Once felted, these slippers will look like high top running shoes, complete with laces. Once Ethan’s are finished, I’ll make Trinity’s and won’t felt them until the kids are around to watch the process.

I also started, and finished a small project for a friend with a baby. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that scarves on little ones can be a hazard and the use of scarves is no longer encouraged for infants. When the weather’s cold, though, little necks need to stay warm, too. I’ve always been of the belief that if it’s cold enough for you, as a parent, to pull on a sweater or wear a jacket, hat, scarf, and mittens, you should be dressing your child accordingly as well.

To that end, I went hunting on the Drops (Garnstudio) web site and found a cute little pattern for a neck scarf that ties at the back.

The pattern is Henrik VIII (click the title to see the pattern). It uses less than one ball of yarn and would have been finished in one evening if my cold-clouded brain had comprehended the increase row near the end. If you check out the pattern pictures, you’ll see that it covers the neck nicely and looks almost like a dickey. It should definitely keep any cold winds or gusts off of the recipient’s neck.

The yarn I used was some leftover Sandnes Garn Lanett Baby Ull, 100% superwash wool on 2.25 mm straight needles.

I also decided this week that I’m going to knit another pair of socks for myself… maybe. I’m not sure I have any more of the yarn I started with so this may end up just being an experiment that will be frogged once I see how it fits after turning the heel.

red socks

We shall see. For now, it’s simply mindless knitting. I’ve been toying with a few ideas. I may knit this one up to the heel, work the heel in a different colour, then work the cuff in a third colour. Hopefully, working it like that might leave me with enough yarn to work the foot of the second sock in the same way. I only have one 50 gm. ball of the red yarn, unfortunately. I bought it quite some time ago so I doubt I’ll be able to find another ball of it; even if I did, I don’t remember what brand it is as there’s no tag or label with it. I do know that it’s a superwash DK wool and is very soft and cushy. If I do manage to make a matching sock, they will definitely be nice and warm. I like nice and warm!

Before I end this post, I have to do a bit of bragging. It’s not bragging about myself; I have to brag about my daughter. She’s been crocheting for some time now but has never quite picked up on how to read a pattern; well, she sure can now!

owl hats

Ethan doesn’t look very happy, does he? He wasn’t feeling well when Kristen picked the kids up from school and, shortly after this picture was taken, he threw up. He does love his hat… really! Kristen has been keeping her crochet hooks flying and I have convinced her to join Ravelry. Once she saw how easy it is to look up all kinds of crochet patterns, she was hooked (yes, bad pun, I know… couldn’t resist).

There’s more I could write about but this post is, I think, long enough. I’ll save the rest for another post. For now, I’d best get going. I made a big pot of pea soup last night and I’m planning on baking a couple kinds of bread today – Raisin bread and another couple loaves of white bread for the freezer. As well, there’s laundry to do and Christmas decorating to be put up, and…… well, you get the picture.

Categories: Knitting, Slippers, Socks, The Weather, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

And They’re Done!

Part of yesterday was spent rooting through my yarn stash, hunting for that ball of grey yarn I just knew was hiding somewhere. After going through every single tub, every box, every bag, I found some. It was in the cedar chest, at the very bottom. At least, I found it.

I’ll let you be the judge… can YOU tell which sock has the little bit of a different yarn?

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009

 

I’ll give you a hint. It’s the one on the right. I don’t think anyone will ever notice that there’s a slightly different yarn in one sock. John is happy and I’ll be moving on to other projects now, thank you very much.

Categories: Blogging, Knitting, Socks | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Mobius and More

I should feel badly about not keeping up with this blog, shouldn’t I? It must seem that I’ve been ignoring it, and you, for some time now. That isn’t true, though. There really hasn’t been much to blog about. Life is just ticking along at it’s usual pace, one day fading into another as they go by in a blur. Then it’s the weekend and there’s plenty to do around the house in preparation for the next week.

However, I am still here. Life’s been busy, work has been busy, weekends have been busy. And inspiration, sadly, has been pretty much non-existent. That said, I did accomplish one small project this week. One of the ladies I work with and I were talking about a mobius strip last week and, being a knitter in the know, I asked her is she’d ever knitted one? She thought about it and asked if it wasn’t just a scarf made into a mobius by giving it one twist and sewing it together. When I tried to explain mobius knitting to her, she didn’t understand any part of it. So I made a mobius scarf.

mobius

I brought Cat Bordhi’s, “A Treasury of Magical Knitting” to work to show my co-worker and even it elicited confused and puzzled looks.

It wouldn't hurt me to smile, would it?

It wouldn’t hurt me to smile, would it?

I like this cowl/scarf. The yarn is ancient. I do mean that. Years ago, before my youngest daughter was born, I knitted myself a really nice cardigan. There was just one problem. Let’s me put it this way – I wore it to the hospital the day she was born. The cardigan was buttoned up and there was still room to spare. Yes, it was far too big for me.

dordogne 647

I reclaimed the yarn and eventually re-knit (mostly) the cardigan but never completely finished it because… well… because now it’s too small. So, the yarn is fair game. I will not knit this cardigan a third time. It is, incidentally, Scheepjes Dordogne; I doubt it’s even made anymore.

dordogneIn other knitting, John’s sweater is languishing in a basket in my living room. I’m up to the armhole shaping but just can’t seem to get motivated to work on it. I’ve been spending more time cooking on the weekends than I have knitting. He has mentioned more than once, though, that it would be nice to have a new sweater by Christmas. Yikes! The pressure!!

I’ve also been doing a bit of painting. A few weeks ago, I painted this little painting from a photo I found online.

003I wasn’t completely happy with it, to be honest so I tried to paint it again. I’m much happier with my second attempt.

002My next project will become our Christmas cards this year. I have to say, I’m really having fun with my watercolours. Incidentally, if you’re interested, I’ve added a page to the blog. In the upper right corner of this blog, you’ll see a tab with the different pages on this blog. There you’ll find a page entitled “From My Palette”. That page is where I’ll add my paintings as they’re done.

 

 

 

Categories: Blogging, Cardigan, Finished, John's Sweater, Knitting, Painting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Done!

It didn’t take long to finish John’s socks. They are now off the needles and in his sock drawer. And he is one happy man.

worksocks2

 

I still have a whole ball of the black yarn and most of a ball of the grey yarn so I think I’ll cast on immediately for another pair of socks for him. That should hold me until my KnitPicks order arrives.

Categories: Blogging, Knitting, Socks | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Socks for Himself

There is a part of me that is just itching to start something new. The yarn for John’s new sweater has been ordered but, still, my fingers are itchy for a new challenge NOW! I shall just have to contain myself, I know. By next weekend, for sure, his yarn will be here and I’ll be knee deep in sweater designs and swatches!

In the meantime, I’ve unearthed a small project that should have  been done months ago… literally! Apparently, I started these socks last June! If you’re interested, you can read about them on the old blog.

worksocks

They’ve been hiding in a basket in the spare room, with the heel flap almost done. As you can see, though, they’re nearing completion now and, with John’s work season coming up soon, he’ll have a brand new pair of work socks. He’s been going through his socks so quickly lately that I’ll never keep up. I should probably have at least one pair of socks on the needles for him at all times! This is not to say he wears through them quickly; it’s just that I haven’t made him a lot of socks in the last couple of years. He wears them almost exclusively and the ones he’s going through now were knitted up to five years ago. That’s not bad, really.

This pair, like some of the other work socks I’ve made him, are knitted with Sirdar Country Style DK. The yarn is 45% acrylic, 40% nylon and 15% wool. It’s a pretty hard wearing yarn for work socks and John really likes the feel of these on his feet. I’m knitting the socks on 3.0 mm needles, not really using a pattern. I’ve made these so many times now that all I need to know is the stitch count required and how long to make the heel flap and the foot. In his case, if I’m knitting DK weight socks, I cast on 56 stitches; if I’m knitting fingering weight socks, I cast on 72 stitches. The heel flap for John’s socks is always 3″ and his foot is exactly that… 12″, so I start the toe shaping at 10″. That’s all I need to know.

Now I need to get off the computer and finish these socks. By tomorrow, John may well be wearing these!

Categories: Blogging, Knitting, Socks, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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